Court denies city’s petition for temporary restraining order against new staffer

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The attorney for the city of Sacramento reported Thursday the court denied their petition for a temporary restraining order against a representative that was recently hired by a city councilwoman.

City Attorney Susana Alcala Wood reports the petition for a temporary restraining order against Skyler Michel-Evleth, a newly-hired staffer, was not granted by the court.

Sacramento City Council voted 8-1 in favor of the restraining order, which would have barred Michel-Evleth from City Hall and being in physical contact with City Manager Howard Chan and his family.

Michel-Evleth, who goes by the last name Henry, released a statement Wednesday on Twitter in response to the city’s petition.

“We expected there would be some within the City that objected to my appointment because I have exercised my right to criticize and oppose many of the leaders within our government, including the Mayor, members of City Council, as well as some City staff members,” he wrote. “While I can understand why some may have objected to what I’ve said in the past, seeking a restraining order against me so I cannot go to City Hall and perform the job I was hired to perform is just plain wrong.”

Days after District 4 City Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela hired Michel-Evleth, Fox News released a report quoting the “Voices: River City” podcast cohost as saying Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema “should be terrified for the rest of your life.”

“You should never be able to leave your house, if that is how you are going to use your position to govern. The same thing sort of applies with the mayor and city manager of this city,” he went on to say.

Sacramento Superior Court documents show that while the court condoned Michel-Evleth’s remarks about Sinema, the city’s petition for a restraining order included “obvious First Amendment concerns.”

“Moreover, some of the evidence provided by the City actually undercut its own position that a temporary restraining order is warranted,” court documents read.

The documents report Chan alleged Michel-Evleth was at a demonstration outside his house last July, saying Michel-Evleth pounded on his door along with other protesters. Chan also claimed Michel-Evleth followed him and other co-workers after that day.

The next day, however, documents quote Chan as saying “at the moment,” he was “not concerned about” what had happened. He also did not file a restraining order or take legal action at the time.

In March of this year, court documents say there was no violence, vandalism or threats during another protest outside Chan’s house, which city leaders later condemned and included as evidence in their petition. Documents say there is no evidence Michel-Evleth even attended the March protest.

The court said it also found Michel-Evleth has never physically harmed anyone, including Mayor Darrell Steinberg or City Manager Chan. Steinberg himself met with Michel-Evleth in person last week and reported Michel-Evleth told the mayor “he opposes physical violence against any person.”

City Attorney Wood responded to the court’s decision in Thursday’s release.

“We believe the declarations filed in support of the request made clear the very real reasons City employees would have to question their security if they were made to share workspace with someone who has advocated terror tactics as a means to resolve political differences,” Wood wrote. “We remain very concerned about Skyler Michel-Evleth’s comments and his refusal to reject the practice of terrorizing the spouses or children of political opponents. We do not accept the attempted re-invention of his violent rhetoric as a peaceful call for responsible government.”

The city is now pursuing a permanent restraining order and a hearing has been scheduled for July 7.

In response, Henry will be filing anti-SLAPP, strategic lawsuit against public participation, litigation. The litigation announcement will be made Friday by Valenzuela and Henry.

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